June 6th will always hold a special place in my heart.
Kris and I had met about two weeks before at a bible study. I remember thinking he was warm and approachable. He made me feel relaxed and welcomed when he came up and talked to me. Our conversation was interrupted, though. The next day I opened my Facebook inbox to a message from him.
He invited me to come play volleyball with him and his friends that weekend. Although I am a friendly person, I certainly am not one to go hang out with people I don’t know…especially in the context of potentially embarrassing myself athletically in swimwear. So, I waited until Monday to respond. I told him I wasn’t good at checking my Facebook and was sorry to have missed volleyball. He casually suggested he should get my number. Real smooth and harmless. I gave it to him.
He called the next day. Not recognizing the number, I let it go to voicemail. I don’t answer calls I don’t know and I actually hate talking on the phone, especially to new boys (I get nervous and don’t know what to say). It’s easier to text back. This started a pattern over the next few days. He would call and I would text back. Thankfully this gave Kris hope, so he kept calling. Finally, one night after I’d enjoyed a couple glasses a wine, he called and…I answered. We ended up talking for five hours!
We talked and texted regularly at night over the next couple of weeks after that. I remember thinking and telling my friends he was the kindest man I had ever met. He asked me out several times, but I wasn’t available. He’ll tell you I kept giving him excuses, but they were real. I was truly busy! Finally, on June 2nd, he put his foot down. He said, “I’m taking you out this Tuesday or Wednesday night. Which one works for you?” Wednesday it was.
I remember that night so clearly. He came to pick me up from my place. When I came downstairs, he was still straightening his pants from changing out of his gym clothes in the car. He opened the car door for me, but then reached in to move bananas, protein bars, and a jug of water out of the passenger seat. Other than that, his car was freshly cleaned. I liked how he was slightly disheveled and not so perfect. It disarmed me and made me feel more comfortable.
The car drive to the restaurant was absolutely insane. Palpable electricity filled the air. I was warm and my heart was beating fast. We were talking about God and prayer. It felt completely comfortable and natural to share the song I liked for a potential father/daughter dance by Point of Grace at my future wedding. But then, Kris one upped me. If I questioned that I had shared too much too soon, it was calmed. Kris said, “Oh I have a song I think you will like better.” He immediately pulled up and played Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman. I sat there listening to the lyrics, my breath quickened and I thought, How does he know my heart? Who is this man?
Cinderella ended up being the song for my father/daughter dance at our wedding.
Kris took me to a restaurant I’d never been to. At the time, I was keeping a vegan diet. Kris found one of the best vegan restaurants in town, Cafe Gratitude. It was the perfect ambiance, laid back and lit with twinkling lights. Kris is a meat eater and doesn’t drink alcohol. I love ordering wine, but since Kris never drinks he didn’t order or think to offer. I didn’t want to be rude and order if he didn’t. I casually mentioned the wine menu and Kris quickly picked up on my cue and said we should get a bottle. I ended up being too filled with butterflies to even finish my first glass.
The server at Cafe Gratitude asks a question of the day. That night, she asked us, “What inspires you?” I don’t remember what our answers were, but it did lead to important conversation after that. Kris asked me, “Do you think if people really believed God had His best for them, they would wait to have sex for marriage?” I remember feeling shocked and surprised he asked such a specific question like that. I always told a guy what my boundaries were, but I loved the way Kris presented the thought…as early as our first day.
“I do believe God has his best for me,” I told him. “And I’m keeping a purity vow I made when I was 12.”
He looked down for a while after I told him that. When he looked back up, his eyes were watered over. In that moment, my heart melted. I knew he treasured what I just shared with him. I could feel it. It was the reaction and tender honor I had been waiting for since I was a young girl. He was the guy who made navigating years of naysayers, laughers, mockers and shamers worth it.
I had told him before our date that I needed to be home by 10 pm. I always did this on first dates just in case I needed an out or it wasn’t going well. He kept track of the time and honored his word. By the time we pulled up in my driveway, neither one of us were ready for the date to end. He walked me to my door. We hugged a long time. I felt so small and dainty in his arms. The whole night, he was a strong, safe gentleman.
I walked in my condo feeling like I was floating.
What had just happened? What was the catch? Could I trust someone who seemed so good?
There were some other guys I had been talking to at the same time. But after this date, Kris rose to the top and I lost interest in other conversations.
I’d say if you’re having a hard time choosing between romantic interests, the answer is it’s neither of them. When it’s the one you’ve been waiting for…it should be startlingly clear.
June 6th was the start of a new adventure. It was the beginning of our fairytale. June 6th with Kris launched me into a deeper relationship with God, a journey into becoming a stronger, more confident woman, and a clarifying of my calling.
Before Kris, I wondered if my hopes and dreams for a magical love story filled with adoration, leadership, kindness and Christlike love were unrealistic. Now, I know God really does want to give us His best. I’m so thankful I said NO to the good thing and waited for the God thing in the midst of unknowns and uncertainty.
These five years have been transformational for me. I barely feel like the same woman, largely because Kris has taken me to new heights and deeper wells. He has drawn out the gold in me. And it couldn’t be more perfect that we are welcoming our princess into the world any day now.
I’m so thankful she gets Kris as her daddy. She’ll be able to say, “I want to marry someone just like my daddy.” And maybe they will dance to Cinderella on her wedding day.